What DOJ probes into other police departments mean for Minneapolis

Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced a probe into the Minneapolis Police Department and similar investigations have had lasting impacts on departments around the country.

There are currently four active investigations in the United States, and 16 others have been settled and are currently being enforced.

After the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 and Freddie Gray in Baltimore in 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice began investigating those cities' police departments much in the same way the Minneapolis Police Department will be investigated.

Use of excessive force, any discriminatory conduct, treatment of people with behavioral health issues and a comprehensive review of policies, training and supervision will all be part of the review. It will also assess the effectiveness of MPD’s current systems of accountability.

The same thing was done in Ferguson and Baltimore. In the end, those cities ended up with what’s called a consent decree, which is a written agreement with police and local officials detailing how the department will change policing practices.

Ferguson and Baltimore appear to have made many changes including the hiring of a consent decree coordinator at the Ferguson Police Department and in Baltimore, the department brought on a consent decree implementation unit.

The investigations can take several months to complete and consent decrees can last five or more years in some cases.